A Federal trial is going on in New Haven. I watched part of the trial yesterday. Two cops with extensive disciplinary violations are defendants in a civil trial for civil rights violations. The Plaintiff is a guy named Serfilippi. Serf-il-ippi lives a few blocks from me in the Goat neighborhood. He knows of the Goat, but was never a victim of the Goat. Serfilippi didn’t suffer any physical injuries, other than garden variety physical brutality of being handcuffed and hauled away to jail.
The New Haven cops charged Serfilippi with a felony and two misdemeanors that carried a potential ten year jail sentence. All of the charges were eventually dropped by the State prosecutors. What could be more stressful than having to defend yourself in criminal court, with a $50K bond hanging over your head, only to have the charges dropped in the end? And Serfilippi is a White guy. This isn’t supposed to happen to White guys. In Montana maybe, but not in the Northeast.
The cop who arrested Serfilippi was a guy named Conklin. Conklin got mad because Serfilippi went outside of his house and directed his elderly mother out of her driveway. There was a construction crew in front of Serfilippi’s house and Conklin was there to safeguard the construction site. After Conklin and Serfilippi exchanged some words, Serfilippi went back into his house. Conklin was on his tail. Serfilippi slammed the door on him. Conklin was wearing gloves and put his hand in the doorway. Conklin’s fingernail was nicked by the door as Serfilippi slammed it shut. Conklin testified that he was engaged in “deescalation techniques” when he was yelling and Serfilippi was slamming his door.
The other cop involved was a guy named Rentkowicz. Rentkowicz was the supervisor cop who showed up in order to diffuse the situation after Serfilippi failed at deescalation. Rentkowicz and Conklin, despite their disciplinary histories, were promoted under the DiStefano – Harp Regime. Rentkowicz was involved in a SWAT team raid of a gay man whom the cops mistakenly thought was a notorious drug dealer. A multimillion dollar lawsuit was filed against the City. The SWAT team came barrelling into this guy’s house with guns blazing, smoke grenades, shouting obscenities. The cops tied him up in zip ties. They forget their handcuffs back at the station. The gay man pleaded with the cops that he was not the straight man they were looking for. The cops mocked the gay man’s feminine voice. I heard that child rapist and gay Rabbi Daniel Greer AKA the Goat, was not happy about this incident.
There are many decent cops in New Haven. The cops who busted the Goat in the child molestation case were featured in the New York Times. The City of New Haven should be proud of that. But some cops can be hot heads. Its a stressful job. But that’s no excuse. Cops with calm and cool dispositions should be promoted, not hot heads like Conklin. Yet under the DiStefano-Harp Regime hot head City employees get promoted, ie., Police Chief Esserman, while highly qualified employees, like Harvard Business & Law School graduate Mendi Blue, get fired. Other City employees not only get fired, ie., Nichole Jefferson, but they also get ratted out to the Department of Justice by the Mayor in a government sanctioned witch hunt. Jefferson got cleared by the Feds and the State of Connecticut, while Harp got lambasted by these agencies for terminating Jefferson.
Today is election day in New Haven. It is time to throw Mayor Harp out of office and send her back to Salt Lake City where she came from. As Al Capone once said, “Vote early, and vote often.”
9/14/17 UPDATE: The jury in the cop trial deliberated for four hours. At quarter to five in the afternoon they handed the Judge the following questions:
Can we award punitive damages if there is no evidence of malicious prosecution or evidence of false arrest?”
“If there is no evidence of false arrest, can we determine that the arresting officer acted with malice?”
“Can you come into the room to field questions?”
Federal Judge Jeffrey Meyer told them that they could not award punitive damages if there is no evidence of a false arrest. The Judge told them that they can find the officers acted with malice even though there is no evidence of false arrest. The Federal Judge told them that He would not go into the jury room and field questions, but He would stop in and serve them coffee.
Judging from these juror questions it is clear that this jury was not smarter than a roomful of fifth graders. The responses the Judge gave to the questions was confusing. The jury was allowed to find that the officer acted maliciously yet not find false arrest. The fact that a Federal judge served the jurors coffee demonstrated that this was a very humble judge. Larry Noodles gives Judge Meyer a thumbs up.
The jurors were totally confused. This was not a simple car accident case where they only had to determine who got to the red light first. This case involved very complicated issues of law that were not well explained to the jury. The problem with jury trials is that the jury instructions are written in legalese, cut and pasted from other cases. The lawyers can’t even understand the instructions. During the trial of the Goat the jury wrote similar types of questions to the Federal judge.
It was just before 5 PM when the jury came back with a Defendant’s verdict clearing the cops of wrongdoing. The jury obviously wanted to go home. The jurors all lived in the suburbs. They didn’t want to get caught in traffic. The cops on trial all lived in the suburbs. How did this happen? Cops and jurors should be required to live in the hood down the street from Larry Noodles and Serfilippi and listen to the gunfire at night. No earplugs.
The jurors must have thought that the cops did something wrong or they would not have asked whether they could still award punitive damages. I can only guess that the jurors thought that the cops were justified in arresting Mr. Serfilippi because Serfilippi slammed the door on Conklin’s fingernail. But to arrest the guy and charge him assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer after Serfilippi was in the house calling police headquarters? How could this arrest not be construed as malicious, especially when they got dropped by the prosecutor?
Federal Judge Jeffrey Meyer has an interesting background. He is a Yalie, of course. The Feds only hire Yalies to judge the peasants. UCONN grads, who took the same classes and passed the same bar exam, are not qualified to pass judgement on fellow Nutmeggers. Meyer’s father was involved in politics for his entire life, up until a couple of years ago he was a Democrat in the Connecticut State Senator. Meyer was appointed by Obama and sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal. He is a former United States Attorney. Yet he also worked for Vermont Legal Aid serving the poor, and got an award for helping the homeless in New Haven. Yet he has supported the death penalty and tried to block the State of Connecticut from repealing it.
There is no longer a death penalty in Connecticut. Texas is one of the few hanging States left in the Confederacy. Europe long abolished the death penalty.